Many senior citizens discover too late that a tool like Medicaid is required to cover the extremely high cost of medical care, particularly in instances when around-the-clock attention is required. If you are planning to apply for coverage for yourself or your elderly parent, you need to talk with an attorney to make sure you know what is covered.
Medicaid Coverage in New York
Unfortunately, Medicare only covers a limited amount of time in a nursing home. For long-term stays, Medicaid is often a financial necessity. A bed at a Medicaid-approved facility isn’t the only benefit available, however. If you qualify, the program specifically pays for:
- Dental care
- Doctor or nurse practitioner visits
- In- and out-patient services at a hospital
- Nursing home stays
- X-rays and labs
Eligibility requirements and coverage can become complicated because Medicaid is both a federal and state-run program. That means there are additional services offered in specific states. In New York, Medicaid also covers:
- Ambulatory (outpatient) care
- Home health services (if you qualify for a nursing home bed)
- Prescription drugs
- Vision care
Why You Need to Plan Ahead for Medicaid
Qualifying for some of these benefits when you need them due to a sudden health change, particularly if you require a nursing home, can require careful planning ahead of time. An attorney can explain how the program’s five-year lookback period will scrutinize your assets and potentially affect your coverage.
A skilled lawyer can provide strategies for spending down, converting countable assets to exempt assets, or using trusts to get the benefits you need while protecting your nest egg. Besides considering these asset protection strategies, it's also important to plan ahead for what Medicaid doesn’t cover, such as:
- Additional care not part of the nursing home’s base Medicaid coverage
- Amenities and entertainment like phone, TV, reading material, or streaming services
- Beauty and cosmetic products as well as grooming services (beyond the basics provided at a nursing home or during in-home care)
- Non-medically necessary private rooms
- Specialty food outside the nursing home’s normal offerings
Consult a Medicaid Planning Attorney to Protect Your Family
We want to make sure you find the best possible care and that you gain access to all the benefits you are eligible to receive. If you or someone you love are navigating the Medicaid application process, get in touch with Alatsas Law Firm as soon as possible to obtain help from an experienced attorney.